On Friday April 18th the Missouri Tigers announced that Men’s Head Basketball coach Frank Haith would be leaving after three years to become the next coach at the University of Tulsa. The move was unexpected for everyone, even Athletic Director Mike Alden.
However, many people acknowledging that Haith was likely on the hot seat and just trying to stay ahead of the curve as he faced a make or break season in year four of his tenure, after failing to make the NCAA tournament this year.
Frank Haith was named the AP coach of the year after his first season at Mizzou in 2012. The season ended in disappointing fashion, but the Tigers did accomplish a lot in their last season in the Big 12, finishing the season with a 30-5 record and beating Baylor for the Big 12 conference tournament championship.
Haith surprised many with his unconventionally small but effective lineup that was loaded with experience and fantastic perimeter shooting. But the early success was short lived as Missouri has had two disappointing seasons under Haith despite having some great talent on the court.
The silver lining in the sudden departure of Frank Haith is that he seems to of done Missouri a huge favor. Mike Alden no longer has to fire Haith if he under performed next season, and Haith actually owes Missouri $500,000 for breaching his contract.
Mike Alden is now searching for someone to lead the Tigers program in the future, and while it is not considered a “blue blood” program by any means, Columbia should still be an appealing destination for potential head coaches. Here is the rumored short list of candidates for what will be Mike Alden’s fourth head basketball coach in his tenure.
Gregg Marshall-Wichita St.
This would be an absolute grand slam of a hire for Alden and the Missouri Tigers if they could land him. The question is would he even listen? Gregg Marshall is one of the hottest coaches in college basketball right now after leading the Shockers to the Final Four and an undefeated regular season the past two years.
He has taken a program to unbelievably impressive new heights and Missouri fans should be ecstatic if they are lucky enough to hire him, as unlikely as it may seem.
Money always talks, and Marshall is reportedly in the $1.75 million range annually but with Missouri’s portion of the new SEC TV deal, they would have plenty of ammunition. Marshall would most likely command at least 3 million per year if he came to Missouri, which would place him among the ten highest coaching salaries in all of Men’s College Basketball.
Kim Anderson- UCM
After leading the Mules to a Division II championship, Kim Anderson has been a popular name in many circles to replace Frank Haith. Born in Sedalia, Missouri, and coaching under Norm Stewart as an assistant with Mizzou for over a decade, Anderson has strong ties to both the state and the University itself.
There’s no question he is a well respected basketball mind, but the question is can he be a head coach at the Division 1 level both as a coach on the court and on the recruiting front. Consider Kim Anderson a dark horse for the position. He is certainly someone to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
Archie Miller- Dayton
Another name to watch is Dayton Flyer coach Archie Miller. Coach Miller has seen his stock rise over the weeks after his Flyers made an appearance in the Elite 8. He has a 63-38 record at Dayton since starting there in 2011. He has been an assistant coach at many notable programs prior to landing his first head coaching gig including: Ohio State, Arizona, and North Carolina State.
Miller is considered very invested in the Dayton program, and the Ohio community, and is considered a stretch to come to Columbia, having just turned down the Marquette job and receiving a contract extension with the Flyers.
Mike White- Louisiana Tech
Another younger coach who has been tied to Missouri is Louisiana Tech head coach Mike White. White is 37 years old, and like Archie Miller he is a former player himself. He has been coaching the Bulldogs of Louisiana Tech since 2011 and has a solid 74-31 record.
Coaching in the Conference USA, White led his squad to a 29-8 record in 2013, losing in the NIT quarterfinals to Florida State. Coach White looks like an up and comer in the coaching ranks, and could prove to be a great find for Mike Alden and Missouri.
Whoever ends up coaching next for Missouri, it is crucial they be there for the long haul. The program has potential, they have young talent, and have had small flashes of success in recent years, but there needs to be a level of stability like what Gary Pinkel has established with the football program.
Missouri gets plenty of national exposure and has a seemingly deep pocket to spend on a coach, but that coach has to be committed to building the Missouri brand on the basketball court, and build excitement for high school recruits to want to put on the black and gold.
I fully expect Mike Alden to roll out the red carpet and pull out the check book for whoever he hires next. It was a major shock to see Frank Haith go, but this is a perfect opportunity to wipe the slate clean and build a basketball program that can be successful for years to come.
So KC Kingdom, let me know who you think Missouri should hire as the next basketball coach in the comments below!
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